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Educational Childcare Center and Preschool

Are you interested in finding out more about our quality day care & childcare services? Please take a moment to read below. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!

In this section:
Information | Mission Statement | Programs | Educational Philosophy | Hours of Operation

INTRODUCTION

Crossroads Early Learning Center, a ministry of Christ Memorial Lutheran Church, has been open since 1981, serving children 6 weeks - Kindergarten. The goal of our ministry is to provide a safe and warm environment, along with a well-rounded educational curriculum in a Christian based atmosphere where each child can experience and share God's love.

The childcare center does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, religious affiliation, ethnic origin, family income or handicap (if child is able to function within our environment). Crossroads Early Learning Center is licensed by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families. The program operates following NAEYC (National Association for the Education of the Young Child) accreditation standards.

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MISSION STATEMENT

To partner with parents to provide a safe, Christian environment where children can grow in faith and develop social and academic skills for life.

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Programs: INFANT/WADDLER ROOM

Classroom and Staffing

Each of the children will have a Primary Caregiver of either the Head Teacher or Assistant Teacher. However, "primary" doesn't mean exclusive. Other staff in the room will also develop a warm, nurturing relationship with your child. They will be meeting your child's needs, if the other staff member is otherwise occupied. This ensures that each of the staff members gets to know your child and your child also bonds and trusts with each of the staff members.

The classroom is comprised of infants from 6 weeks to Waddlers of 2 years. Areas of the room will be provided for infant play and other areas for toddler play.

Meeting Their Physical Needs

Sleeping: Infants will nap according to their own schedules and will be placed in cribs for their nap. Infants will be placed on their backs to sleep in a crib, in accordance with the American Academy of Pediatric and DYFS guidelines. It may or may not be difficult for some children to adjust if they are used to sleeping with parents or in a different position.

They will be provided with a firm, tight fitting mattress and all cribs meet current safety standards. For the safety of your child, there will be no pillows, quilts, bumpers, comforters, stuffed toys in the cribs.

Toddlers will be napping on mats, eventually going to a 1 nap a day schedule. Toddlers may have a small stuffed animal to sleep with or special blanket that they may be attached to. We feel that these comfort items will help your child feel secure in our environment.

Diapering: - Every 2 hours, and, as needed. - Diapers and wipes must be provided. - If a cream or ointment is needed, a permission form must be submitted to the Head Teacher or Teacher Assistant. - We will not be using powder at the center. The use of powder has been linked to asthma and other respiratory problems.

Mealtimes: Infants will be fed "on demand". We will adjust to their changing schedules as they grow.

For the Waddlers, there are 2 snack times and a lunch time every day. Snack foods include cereals and crackers, fruits, yogurt, juice, etc. Menus are sent home monthly and can be found on the website: www.crossroadsearlylearningcenter.com.

Bottles: - Enough "ready made" bottles need to be provided for the whole day. Bottles and lids need to be labeled. If you are breastfeeding, all breast milk must be dated and have your child's name on it. Fresh breast milk can be stored up to 24 hours. Breast milk will be discarded after 24 hours. Contents remaining in any bottle will be discarded within 2 hours. - Bottles will be warmed in a crock pot to avoid "hot spots". - Bottles will not be propped and not be provided in cribs or on mats. This will prevent the development of "bottle rot" on their teeth.

"Shoe-Free" Environment: The Infants and Waddlers will be spending a lot of time exploring on the floor and we want to provide them with a clean and safe environment. We ask that adults slip on a pair of shoe covers over their shoe. This will prevent outside contaminants frombeing brought into the room.

Curriculum

INFANT/WADDLER ROOM: The first two years are critical for the development of the brain and language development. Their life experience plays a critical role in the "hard wiring" of the brain, laying a foundation for intellectual and emotional development. Infants are curious learners, enthusiastically investigating their world around them. They need a safe world that is rich in opportunities to discover and explore. During this treasured stage of development, infants are working on establishing trust in themselves and those around them. Meeting their needs in a predictable way helps them achieve this. We are here to provide a nurturing and loving environment to give them a sense of safety and security.

Waddlers are developing a sense of autonomy by adults giving them opportunities for independence and success.

Our curriculum takes into consideration the need to develop their self esteem, security and independence. Therefore, everything we do throughout the day is part of our curriculum. Every experience is a learning opportunity: diaper changing, feeding experiences, singing, exercising their arms and legs, reaching and grasping objects, etc.

In addition to these individual care giving moments, teachers will also plan for more organized times and activities for learning: - Sensory Exploration: The children will be exposed to different textures, colors, patterns, shapes, scents, tastes and sounds. - Language Development: Conversation throughout the day, reading and puppet play, exploring of sounds, background music, circle time of songs and activities. - Cognitive Development: Object permanence, spatial relations, collecting and dumping, cause and effect, - Fine and Large Motor Development: Reaching, grasping, kicking, holding, pulling up and standing, creeping, crawling in, out, over and under. For Waddlers: gripping, throwing, walking, climbing, pushing, pulling, etc. - Creative Expression: Art, music and movement, imitation and beginning dramatic play, puppet and doll play.

Outdoor Time: Your child will be going outdoors daily, throughout the year. Please provide appropriate outdoor wear for each season. Hats should be provided in the winter and summer. Mittens are needed in winter. It may be a good idea to keep a sweater or light jacket in case it is chilly outside.

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Programs: TODDLER/TWO'S/PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS

It is our belief that children bloom and develop in an environment that is a culmination of positive interactions and learning experience based on developmentally appropriate practices. Our purpose here is to develop the skills of the whole child: their fine motor coordination (needed for writing and other fine work with their hands), gross motor skills (walking, running, jumping, coordination), spiritually (through our Jesus Time and Character Building portion of our Program), socially (team building, character building and conflict resolution needed for life), academically (social studies, language arts, math, science).

It is our belief that children bloom and develop in an environment that is a culmination of positive interactions and learning experience based on developmentally appropriate practices. Our purpose here is to develop the skills of the whole child: their fine motor coordination (needed for writing and other fine work with their hands), gross motor skills (walking, running, jumping, coordination), spiritually (through our Jesus Time and Character Building portion of our Program), socially (team building, character building and conflict resolution needed for life), academically (social studies, language arts, math, science).

This comprehensive program based on the philosophy that children of this age learn best through active interaction with their physical and social environment. Arrangement of the classroom space allows for "learning centers" to be utilized by the children: library, block/construction area, dramatic play, art/creative expression, sensory, music and movement, science and manipulatives. These areas provide opportunities for child initiated choices, self/directed play, small group activities and teacher supported and directed activities. Throughout the day, children make self-directed and guided choices and participate in small group activities which reflect themes and concepts within our curriculum. Teachers build upon thoughts and actions of children, take advantage of "teachable moments" and introduce concepts from the curriculum. Children are guided through critical learning experiences, through questions based on experiences in the classroom, curriculum concepts, topics of conversation, reading of books, etc. Questions are created to develop their critical thinking skills. The more structured times of the day include: Circle Time, Music and Movement, Story Time, Art/Project Time. Our Social Studies Play and Learning Center Time offers opportunities for the child to have choices and some control over their environment. Conflict resolution and team building concepts are developed during Play, group Art Project and Learning Center time.

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Programs: PRE-KINDERGARTEN

We begin the day with Jesus Time. It is our "family" time of the day, thus setting the tone for the day. Short Bible passages or children's messages and basic concepts are discussed: kindness to others, a love of God, God's Creations and the life of Jesus, thereby developing the spiritual and character skills of your child.

Language Arts Our Pre Kindergarteners are exposed to letters: the recognition, formation and sounds of. They will learn that print has meaning: recognizing and writing their own names, listening to and retelling stories, rhyming words, new vocabulary and story structure. They will be sequencing, identifying similarities and differences.

Social Studies The children will be learning about school, the houses they live in, the neighborhood, the county, city, state, the USA and the universe. They will learn how they fit into their environment, and what their responsibilities are. They will be learning about families, community helpers, transportation and holidays. They will learn how to cooperate in the classroom environment, conflict resolution and a whole curriculum on Character Building.

Math and Science The children will be learning math readiness and science through hands-on activities, games and songs. Concepts include numbers, shapes, sorting, sequencing, patterns and matching activities. They will be identifying, counting and writing numbers. More and less than, same as, simple time concepts such as morning, afternoon, night, yesterday and today will be addressed. The children will be talking about the environment, insects, food groups, planting seeds, building a volcano, how to make new colors from others, etc.

Creative Arts/Music and Movement: Children will participate in a variety of activities dealing with large mural art projects, individual art, creative dramatics and music and movement activities.

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Programs: KINDERGARTEN

Our Full Day Kindergarten Program is geared to prepare children for first grade by lengthening their attention span, encouraging self-discipline and independence, learning to consistently follow directions, and affording them the opportunity to think things through for themselves. Our Kindergarteners receive a report card 4 times through the school year.

Crossroads follows and implements the East Brunswick Curriculum, plus our own added Character Building and Jesus Time Program. We provide experiences that meet the children's needs, and that stimulate learning in all the developmental areas: spiritually, academically, cognitively, socially, emotionally, physically and creatively.

Reading and Language Arts: This part of our program is one of the core areas of our curriculum. We use "The Wright Group, Guided Reading" which is used by the East Brunswick School District. Reading books, writing, acting out stories, drawing, dictating, and listening independently to books on tape reinforces these skills. We teach letters and their sounds, concentrating on a letter a week. Children may write their letters in shaving cream, sand or with paper and pencil. In addition, we provide literature extension activities such as recreating books, art projects, etc. All of these activities provide a variety of experiences from which to learn and reinforce language art skills.

Math: "Everyday Math" curriculum is what is used for Math, again, because we are following the same program as the East Brunswick School system. The primary goal of our Math program is to use math for exploration, discovery, and to solve problems. Math is integrated throughout the day: Circle Time, Reading, Science, Social Studies and Language Arts. The children use a number of different types of manipulatives: unifix cubes, animal counters, pattern blocks, etc. They will be reading and making their own graphs, estimation, and use simple adding and subtraction.

Science We use a hands-on approach to science discovery, utilizing their five senses and the concepts of: observation, classification, measurement, experimentation and prediction. We study food groups, pond life, birds, animal habitats and insects. We will be studying the life cycle of the butterfly and lady bug and we will also be hatching baby chicks.

Social Studies The goal of this part of our curriculum deals with the relationships within our family, and school, community and world. The children will be learning how they fit into the world around them. They will also be learning about community helpers and businesses that are in our neighborhood. .They are also learning about different holidays or celebrations of various cultures.

Jesus Time/Character Building We begin our morning with a "children's message" or a short bible story with a lesson. The uniting theme is that Jesus loves all of us and is very forgiving. Basic concepts are discussed: kindness to others, a love of God, God's Creations and the life of Jesus, thereby developing the spiritual and character skills of your child. This time of the day sets the tone for the day and is our "family time". We are trying to teach the children how to be "street wise, in a respectful way". What does it mean to be a good friend? How can we be responsible and helpful? How do we show respect for others?

Activities/Work Periods of the Day Include: Jesus Time, Story Time, Lunch, Mathematic, Phonics/Phonemics, Circle Time, Social Studies, Reading, Writing, Creative Expression, Art Projects, Outdoor Play, Science, Rest, Music & Movement

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Programs: SUMMER PROGRAM

Although Crossroads is operational year round, it takes a "summer-vacation means fun time" attitude. It is designed to afford the family the flexibility required during these active months, while maintaining continuity and security for all of the children. Activities include field trips, water fun, special events and programs, picnics and games, etc.

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EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY

Bible stories are shared and Christian principles of love and respect are emulated. This is done by incorporating the teachings of Christ's love in all of the activities throughout the day. Our teachings demonstrate the basic truth that God loves and respects each person. In keeping with this philosophy, we have incorporated a Character Building program to reinforce these principles.

It is our belief that children develop in a positive social atmosphere. Growth is a culmination of positive attributes and interactions shared by parents, caregivers, and children. We strive to promote a successful learning experience for the development of the whole child: spiritually, academically, cognitively, socially, emotionally, physically and creatively. Our hands-on approach allows children to be actively involved in the learning process where they can explore, experiment, evaluate and discuss the results.

We recognize and foster the individuality of each child and promote a positive self-image, while helping the child to develop self-confidence, self-discipline and cooperation. The combination of the Christian, Character Building and Academic aspects of our curriculum creates a unique approach to fulfilling our educational philosophy.

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HOURS OF OPERATION

Our center is open from Monday-Friday, 7:00AM to 6:30PM and is operational year round to suit varying needs.

However, the center will be open until 6:30, for those who need us, for an added fee of $30 per month.

Programs to choose from are Full-Day: 2 days, 3 days, 4 days or 5 days.

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Copyright 2010 Crossroads Early Learning Center
114 Old Stage Road • East Brunswick, NJ 08816
Phone: 732.251.3221 • Fax: 732.723.9026
Email: crossroadselc@verizon.net
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